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tv   European Journal  KCSMMHZ  January 21, 2012 4:30am-5:00am PST

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>> who is europe's mr. personality? if you are chinese it is herman van romproy. the charisma kid is all the rage over there. >> famous for 15 minutes, the earth's forgotten 6 billion citizens. we meet a butchman train to be a space tourist. and some turn a spanish ghost
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town into their hometown. his birth made the news around the world. he was declared by the united nations to be the 6 billionth human. since his birth in 1999, he has heard nothing more from the u.n. he and his family have little to show for his short-lived fame. >> this is a small town in central bosnia. 12 years ago the united nation declared the earth's 6 billionth inhabitant was born there. he had his 15 minutes of fame. his parents named him adnan. but the family hasn't heard from the u.n. since.
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his favorite subject is english. he wants to communicate with as many people as possible, and he wants to be an actor. he is his family's only ray of hope. his mother has been out of a job for years. his father is severely ill with cancer. >> i am really proud they picked me as the earth's 6 billionth inhabitant. it is a great feeling, though it was just a coincidence. i know they can't actually count the babies like that, but it is still somehow nice. >> adnan arrived on october 12th, 1999 it's two minutes until midnight. then they told me kofi anan would be visiting. he came with reporters and a medallion as a gift for the child.
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>> it was a big event. adnan told the baby's mother that a bosnian child was chosen as a symbol of peace. they emerged from a civil war and the united nation was revealing from the massacre which had been under u.n. protection. a closer look reveals the medallion to be a mass produced souvenir with no personal dedication of any kind. the family expected more. >> i never heard from him again, but maybe that is just normal. i don't know what other godfathers do for their god children. i only have this one. >> if the united nations are going to choose a certain baby by name they might give him help or a scholarship or something. >> it would be an enormous help to the family if they were able to pay for his father's treatment. >> i wish my papa would get well
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again. >> as proud as he is of his title, he sometimes wishes his classmates would forget about it. our camera team was hope to accompany him to school, but he would not have any part of it. he knew all too well if reporters turned up at his school the envy would turn into teasing that would make his life hell for the foreseeable future. everyone knows their town is home to the earth's 6 billionth inhabitant but many find it hard to believe such a prominent figure would be so red cent. elsewhere he proved generous. >> but he gave them some 15,000
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euros, i know that. >> his mother admits she had high hopes of a privileged life for her son. now she just wants him to remain healthy and happy. >> if only the rumor" money were true. >> he may not have gotten help from the u.n., but he did get something else. after the spanish media carried a report about him his favorite soccer team, real madrid, invited him to spain. he treasures the photos of himself with the top player, zidane. it motivated him to learn to do math with big numbers. he even calculated for us what year the 8 billionth baby was likely to arrive. 12 years from now or maybe in the year 2025. and with this estimate at least, he sees eye to eye with the united nations.
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>> space. the final frontier. you can sample it yourself if you are rich and fit. america may have pensioned off its shuttle but richard branson is offering short trips into space on his virgin galatic service. >> to experience weightlessness and see the earth far below. to be closer to the stars. marcell is one of the first customers of a company that will soon be sending private individuals like himself on brief trips into space >> it takes some training to fly
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in space. he booked a preparation course. she explains some of the physical laws of outer space and tops off the lesson with a look at the sun through a reflecting telescope. >> it is a dream of mine to go into space. now this dream starts to become a reality for many more people. this would be the time to hop on this wagon. >> the training also involves a flight with nancy in a light plane. marcell would even have to fly it. >> a lot of people are afraid of flying, especially of traveling via space. the only solution is to do it yourself. >> i never have been on such a small plane. basically i am quite excited about it. it is also the first time i will
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be in the cockpit and be under the controls. >> he can practice dealing with weightlessness. not everyone can handle the steep climbs and sudden drops. we better turn the camera off here. the passengers sit in a space plane carried up to 16 kilometers and released. it flies above the atmosphere on its own power. the traveler experience weightlessness and enjoy an unforgettable view of earth. in just under four hour its is all over.
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this flight has no economy class. the company's owner, richard branson is charging the equivalent of under 160,000 euros a seat. marcell has made just a small down payment but says he will be able to come up with the rest soon. >> i think that it does get more democratic. also i think that in the future this will really become something that will be even more cheap. >> there have been proposals to launch the space vehicles from europe. the municipality here in the netherlands says it is willing to transform its little airport into a spaceport. it might even do wonders for the local economy. but not everyone wants a spaceport next to the village
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pub. >> i think it is ridiculous. it is terrible that people woul pay $200,000 for a few minute in space just for the fun of it. besides, it is bad for the environment there are better things to do here on earth. >> the flights would make an age-old dream a reality. space tourism is only just getting off the ground. but the sky is the limit. >> the legends of the past don't seem to have made an impression in poland's capital, warsaw. one poster has caused outrage. it insults the jews. after protests the city cancelled a second print run.
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>> there has been a commotion about this 2012 diary published by the warsaw municipality. it is on sale and the city gave copies to its business partners. it includes this one from 1925. an ad for an anti-semitic weekly for development. it shows a polish soldier killing rats with side locks who are wearing skullcaps bearing the star of david. the imaginery is grotesque. the message clear. drive out the jews. protect the economy from jewish traitors and businessmen. there was no commentary accompanying or explaining the picture. >> of course it can spread an anti-semitic message. it is as if a berlin diary --
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that would be risky too. >> this journalist drew attention to the offending imagine. she could hardly believe her eyes when she found the poster in the diary. >> i immediately wrote a letter of protest. you can't have a protest like that in a diary that aims to promote warsaw with a motif let's take a look at the good old days. it is a slap in the face of all jews. this is not acceptable. >> the original is in this museum. the director chose that poster for the publication. she did not want to talk about it in front of the camera. a spokesman at city hall was less willing. >> we printed the poster. if we offended anybody or anybody thinks that what we did is inappropriate in the present day and age, then we are sorry.
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we wish to make a formal apology to the jews. >> unsold copies are being pulped and the leaders of the jewish community says the matter has been resolved. at this synagogue people say anti-semitism is not widespread and most jews feel safe. >> much worse things happening in neighboring countries. nobody attacks you if you wear traditional garb but there is as much anti-semitic garbage as elsewhere. >> his opinion is shared by other jews in warsaw. jewish style restaurants are not uncommon. the diary created waves but the consensus appears to be it was bad, but want a catastrophe. >> they shouldn't feel guilty. nobody needs to wear sack cloth and ashes.
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the poster shows an aspect of history. there was anti-semitism. it wasn't nice, but it is a fact. >> before world war two 3 million jews lived in poland. crimes perpetrated by nonjewish poles were not discussed openly. in 2001 the president apologized for the massacre in 1941. >> i beg for pardon in my own name and the name of those shattered by that crime. in the name of those that can't be proud of the history without feeling at the same time pain and shame for the evil done to others. >> that speech made the symbolic difference for poland's jews. now they are ruffled by the
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outburst of anti-semitism. people in the jewish community says poland is not an anti-jewish country and that they are happy to be polish jews. >> there is no starker symbol of spain's economic crash. less than an hour's drive from madrid, this was designed as a new town to accommodate 30,000. but three quarters were unfinished when the housing went bust. they have been forced back on their own resources. >> the name means valley of light city. that sounded pretty appealing to dennis when he first moved here five years ago. he was supposed to become a model down and a symbol of the new spain it. was meant to be home to 30,000 people. most of the buildings stand
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empty. only 3,000 live here, not enough to warrant a police station. >> in the beginning we had a private security company patrolling 24 hours per day. that became too expensive. they fought over the cost. we residents were asked to pay an additional fee and then it was all discontinued. >> it is a glaring reminder of spain's economic crisis. there is a bright spot, a lone glowing oasis, a place to gather at night. dennis used to work for the city's transportation service but it went bankrupt at the start of the year. no jobs to be had so dennis decided to open up this place. >> i want two thidges, to make a living for me and my family and to bring life back to this town. >> here at dennis' cafe the new
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town pioneers meet and try to make the best of the situation. back then he and his neighbors believed in the investors p.r. campaign. the city was designed for modern, well-to-do middle class families with all of the facilities you could possibly need. in reality, it is a virtual ghost town. it was planned in the midst of spain's heavy days when the real estate market was booming and there were not enough apartments to go around. but the bubble burst. and here there are now streets with no houses. a high speed train station was
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supposed to attract families here. but too few people ended up moving to the cities. the rail service and the government let it fall by the way side. the trains never arrived. only a plaque remains. >> this, like all high speed train stations in spain was built with e.u. money. not only are they think cheated but all of the citizens of the e.u. >> residents have been forced into action. he spent hours ringing doorbells and gathering signatures so the city would get a bus stop. and he succeeded. the bus does not go to madrid, but it does take residents to the shops in the next closest city. dennis started to learn the guitar four weeks ago. the course is the first
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recreational offering here. the teachers work for free. in exchange dennis teaches them english. valued attempts to bring life to the city. >> one of the kid in the neighborhood was looking for cheap guitar lessons. my wife said i would do it for free. no problem. >> we are still in the midst of a crisis. and it does not make any sense to wait for an official to do something for us it. won't happen. but we learned we can create a community. >> the point is that we want to make it feel like a proper town. >> the residents are taking things into their own hands. if they want to forge ahead they will have to give up on some of the town's dreams. he was elected mayor.
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but he has refused to accept a salary. he hopes to do away with unnecessary expenses and keep politics out of it. >> the political part is completely obsolete. we created an independent citizens group here, and we immediately won 46% of the vote. i don't see myself as a politician. i am a regular citizen. >> spain's political parties were part of the problem, feeding the real estate boom until the market collapsed. now residents don't trust any of their campaign promises. >> at first when you walk through the street its felt pretty lonely. then we all started to like it. you walk around now and you think all of the space belongs to us and you even feel a little
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unnerved when you see someone else on the street. >> ready for the town to grow a little more. germany's deutche bank wants to make that happen. for perspective home buyers the bank is offering to finance 100% of the purchase price, inside you don't have to put down a single cent on the house it. is the same easy credit that brought spain to its knees. misguided or not investors hope it will bring the town back to life. >> if huto guess which european political figure has the biggest following in china who would you choose? probably not this man who is not refound for his charisma or high profile, despite being president of the european council but his
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blog on china's social networking site on which he posts has attracted hundreds of thousands. >> he heads an organization that includes heads of state or government of all 27 e.u. members. surely the citizens are familiar with the president of the e.u. council. >> do you know this guy? >> no. >> excuse me i don't know who is it. >> no. >> the president of the european republic. you are go to cut that, aren't you? >> he is a former priority of belgium. he likes to mingle with the public. and he likes writing poetry. >> the harvest is reaped.
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trees are shaking off their leaves. evening is near. >> but his way with words has made him a star far beyond the e.u.'s border it is. in china -- >> he is really funny. interesting. the e.u. delegation in beijing thought it would be good for him to start a blog. now he has nearly 200,000 followers. >> i saw a recent poll of the most popular foreigners in china. and the top one with 2 million was tom cruise. but by the time you got to four or five they were down below
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180,000. so this would put him up around the top 3-4 most popular foreigners in china. >> what ask does he have to say? >> i think i am more than those guys r. that's nice. >> ha-ha. break. >> his words are nothing to laugh at. his blog keeps his readers up-to-date on his day-to-day working life and mundane things like the traffic in beijing. he blogs from his phone, many fans say chinese politicians would never be so down to earth. it is a great opportunity to reach a chinese audience. >> it is a platform for 200 million people, i think, one of the biggest in the globe.
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being present there is very important. and they have a dialogue among them. >> i am also interested in some european issues like the debt crisis. so it helps to get some information about his opinions about this kind of stuff from his blog. but his blog, as i said, he only recently posts softer stuff. >> his chinese fan base continues to grow. in europe he still has a way to go. >> high cue is three lines made up of five, seven and five syllables. you could say his name has five syllables. perfect for haiku. or perhaps not if you prefer.
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that is it and for the last time for me, goodbye.
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